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Do Ask, Don’t Tell

What You Need To Know About Secret Menu Items

Photo Courtesy of Vino Wong/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/MCT

Photo Courtesy of Vino Wong/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/MCT

When you read the words “secret menu,” In-N-Out’s “animal style” toppings might come to mind.

Aside from In-N-Out, which posts its “Not-So-Secret” menu on its website, most chains and restaurants do not advertise these so-called off-menu items.

If you do go to certain fast food places and attempt to order a secret item or a combination of things, be aware that these secret menus either actually don’t exist or are not official like In-N-Out’s.

In fact, restaurants or chains prefer to call it “pleasing the customer’s needs” by customizing the menu items to the customer’s preferences.

Some advice if you would like to go “off menu” would be to simply order on a day when the restaurant is not too busy and has its hands full already with many customers.

Another tip—in case they do not know what you are talking about and are met with raised eyebrows would be—is to switch to a regular item and forget that the whole debacle happened.

Remember though, it’s better to give it a go than to leave your stomach empty and unsatisfied with “the usual.”

The following items are somewhat popular, not too well-known (yet) and hopefully will give you the confidence to try something new.

1. Biscotti Frappuccino/ Starbucks

Biscotti can be thrown into the mix, giving your regular Frappuccino additional crunch. The downside is you have to buy the Biscotti separately, and some may not allow the blend at all because they don’t want to potentially harm the blender with the baked good.

2. Quesarito, Nachos / Chipotle

Chipotle delivers two equally good choices: the quesarito or nachos. Quesarito’s namesake comes from the fact that it is essentially a quesadilla and a burrito in one. The cheese is melted onto a tortilla and then opened to fill with any toppings you ask for. The nachos are exactly that—chips topped with beans, meat, cheese and any salsa you would like.

3. Cheese Fries / Five Guys Burgers & Fries

Five Guys fries covered with cheese; what more could you ask for? Well, to get these fries, you do need to ask. The fries are baked for one minute with cheese on top.

4. Veggie Whopper / Burger King

Vegetarians, rejoice! No longer do you have to wait in the drive thru and be disappointed by all the meat on the menu. Swap out the regular patty in the Whopper Burger for a veggie patty.

5. Chicken Quesadilla / Chick-fil-A

Fast food’s popular chicken sandwich chain meets staple Mexican food. Chick-fil-A has tortillas along with their chicken, and together concocts its own chicken quesadilla.

 6. Lasagna and Spaghetti / Olive Garden

Have no fear; your favorite pastas are here! The combination of the two Italian favorites eases the stress of deciding between lasagna and spaghetti. Olive Garden also has a lasagna and fettuccine combo for those who prefer the latter.

7. Samoa Frappuccino / Starbucks

Yes, Starbucks made the list twice. The coffee hub has many combinations and variations of drinks but this one might be a bit of a surprise. Mocha Frappuccino with caramel drizzle sounds like the norm right? The Samoa version has mocha coconut flavoring, giving the beverage a tropical twist.

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